EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION: What Is It, Types & Is It Effective?

Extrinsic Motivation
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Are you looking for ways to boost your motivation and drive toward achieving your goals? If so, let me introduce you to the concept of extrinsic motivation. Understanding what extrinsic motivation is, exploring its various types, examining a real-life example, and comparing it to intrinsic motivation can provide valuable insights to help you harness external factors to fuel your ambition. In this article, we will dive into the world of extrinsic motivation, shedding light on its definition, exploring different types, offering concrete examples, and examining the distinction between intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. So, let’s embark on this journey of discovering how external rewards and incentives can propel you toward success.

What is Extrinsic motivation?

 Extrinsic motivation is a psychological concept that describes the drive or motivation that comes from external sources rather than from within oneself. It involves the influence of external factors or rewards that stimulate individuals to engage in certain behaviors or achieve specific outcomes. These external factors can include tangible rewards like money, promotions, or prizes, as well as intangible rewards such as recognition, praise, or social status. Extrinsic motivation is often associated with the desire for external validation, the pursuit of material rewards, or the need to meet societal expectations.

One of the key aspects of extrinsic motivation is that it operates on a “carrot and stick” principle, where individuals are driven by the anticipation of rewards or the fear of punishments. This external reinforcement plays a significant role in shaping behavior and encouraging individuals to perform certain tasks or reach specific goals. Extrinsic motivation can be effective in certain situations, especially when tasks or activities may not inherently appeal to individuals or when there is a need for immediate results or compliance.

However, it’s important to note that while extrinsic motivation can provide temporary boosts in performance, it may not necessarily foster long-term engagement or satisfaction. Intrinsic motivation, which stems from internal factors such as personal interest, enjoyment, or a sense of purpose, is often considered more sustainable and fulfilling. Striking a balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is crucial for individuals to maintain a sense of autonomy, satisfaction, and ongoing motivation in their pursuits

Types of Extrinsic Motivation 

There are various types of extrinsic motivation, including financial rewards, promotions, public recognition, prizes, and tangible incentives.

#1. Financial Rewards

This type of extrinsic motivation involves providing individuals with monetary compensation, such as salary increases, bonuses, or commission-based incentives, to encourage desired behaviors or outcomes.

#2. Promotions

 Promotions are a form of extrinsic motivation that involves offering individuals the opportunity to advance in their careers, gain higher job titles, or assume increased responsibilities as a reward for their performance and achievements.

#3. Public Recognition

 Public recognition involves acknowledging and appreciating individuals’ accomplishments or contributions in a public or group setting, such as employee of the month awards, certificates, or announcements, to boost their motivation and self-esteem.

#4. Prizes

Prizes refer to tangible rewards, often in the form of gifts, merchandise, or special privileges, that are given to individuals for achieving specific goals or surpassing expectations.

#5. Tangible Incentives

Tangible incentives include various non-monetary rewards, such as gift cards, travel vouchers, or exclusive experiences, that are offered to individuals as a means of motivation and appreciation for their efforts.

These extrinsic motivations use external variables to motivate and perform. They are used in companies, schools, and other settings to motivate people to achieve goals.

Example of Extrinsic Motivation 

Extrinsic motivation can manifest in various examples across different areas of life. In the workplace, it may involve employees striving to achieve sales targets to receive financial bonuses, promotions, or recognition. For students, the promise of good grades or scholarships can motivate them to study diligently. In sports or competitions, individuals may exert extra effort to win medals, trophies, or other accolades. Rewards like gift cards, vacation packages, or public recognition for exceptional performance can also serve as extrinsic motivators in various settings. These examples demonstrate how external incentives can influence behavior. Also how it can drive individuals to accomplish their goals or excel in their pursuits. However, it’s important to note that while extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short term, fostering intrinsic motivation based on personal satisfaction and passion is essential for long-term success and fulfillment.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation are two distinct types of motivation that influence human behavior.

Extrinsic motivation is based on external factors and involves seeking external rewards or avoiding negative consequences. It is driven by external incentives like tangible rewards (money, prizes), social recognition, or avoiding punishment. Externally motivated individuals perform tasks primarily to attain a specific outcome or reward. For instance, to get a promotion or good grades, an employee or student may work hard.

On the other hand, Intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual and is driven by internal factors such as personal interest, enjoyment, and a sense of fulfillment. It is characterized by engaging in activities for the inherent satisfaction and pleasure they bring. People who are intrinsically motivated are self-motivated and pursue tasks because they find them inherently interesting or meaningful. They derive a sense of accomplishment, competence, and autonomy from their actions. For example, a painter may spend hours on their job because they enjoy it.

While both types of motivation can influence behavior, research suggests that intrinsic motivation leads to more sustainable and satisfying outcomes. Intrinsic motivation fosters a sense of autonomy, mastery, and personal growth, leading to increased creativity, engagement, and long-term commitment. Extrinsic motivation, although effective in achieving short-term goals, may not provide the same level of fulfillment. It may diminish intrinsic motivation over time if relied upon excessively.

Understanding the interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is crucial in various contexts, such as education, work, and personal development. Balancing both types of motivation can lead to optimal performance and fulfillment. However, allowing individuals to align their goals and actions with their inner passions and values.

What Are 3 Extrinsic Motivational Strategies? 

  • Rewards and Recognition: Providing tangible rewards or acknowledging achievements to incentivize desired behavior and performance.
  • Goal Setting: Setting specific, measurable targets that individuals strive to achieve, provides a sense of direction and purpose.
  • Performance Feedback: Regularly providing constructive feedback and evaluation to individuals, highlighting areas of improvement and success.

What Is an Example of Extrinsic Motivation in the Workplace? 

An example of extrinsic motivation in the workplace is when an organization offers monetary incentives such as bonuses or commissions for meeting or exceeding performance targets. For instance, a sales representative who receives a bonus for reaching a certain sales quota may feel motivated to work harder to earn a financial reward. Similarly, recognition programs that publicly acknowledge outstanding performance or achievements can serve as extrinsic motivators. This could involve an employee of the month award, certificates, or even special privileges like parking spots or additional time off. These external rewards help incentivize employees to strive for excellence and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

What Are the Three Main Examples of Extrinsic Goals? 

  • Material Rewards: Examples of extrinsic goals include earning a higher salary, receiving bonuses, or acquiring tangible possessions.
  • Social Recognition: Seeking external validation, such as gaining popularity or attaining social status, can be an extrinsic goal.
  • Achievement Certificates: Working towards earning certificates, diplomas, or other forms of recognition can serve as extrinsic goals.

What Are the Extrinsic Motivation Factors? 

Extrinsic motivation factors refer to external influences and rewards that drive individuals to engage in certain behaviors or activities. These factors can vary and may include tangible rewards such as monetary incentives, bonuses, or gifts. Recognition and acknowledgment from others, such as praise, awards, or promotions, can also serve as powerful extrinsic motivators. Additionally, competition, both within the workplace and in comparison to others, can drive individuals to strive for success and outperform their peers. External evaluations, such as performance appraisals or rankings, can provide feedback and incentives for improvement. Finally, tangible benefits offered by others, such as flexible working hours, access to resources, or professional development opportunities, can contribute to extrinsic motivation. These factors work together to encourage individuals to achieve desired outcomes and fulfill external expectations.

What Are the 3 Types of Intrinsic Motivation?

The three types of intrinsic motivation are:

#1. Mastery

This type of intrinsic motivation is driven by the desire to develop skills. Also, improve competence, and gain a deep understanding of a subject or task. Individuals are motivated by the process of learning and achieving mastery in their areas of interest.

#2. Autonomy

 Intrinsic motivation based on autonomy involves having a sense of independence and control over one’s actions and decisions. People are motivated when they have the freedom to choose how they work, set their own goals, and make decisions that align with their values and interests.

#3. Purpose

Intrinsic motivation based on purpose is rooted in a sense of meaning and significance. Individuals are driven by the belief that their work or actions have a larger purpose or contribute to something meaningful, whether it is making a difference in the lives of others or serving a greater cause.

These three types of intrinsic motivation can work together and overlap, influencing individuals to engage in activities that they find personally fulfilling and rewarding.


What exactly is intrinsic motivation?

What exactly is intrinsic motivation? A classification of…

Intrinsic motivation is described as doing something for the sake of doing it rather than for any other reason.

What are the three types of motivation, intrinsic or extrinsic?

Motivation can be classified into three types: extrinsic (head), intrinsic (heart), and transcendent (soul).

What exactly are extrinsic benefits?

Employees typically receive extrinsic rewards in the form of monetary or tangible compensation, such as raises, bonuses, and benefits.


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